Outliner (and how a small bug can be a big disaster for designers) and where is the Dynamic option in iPad!

(If you are here for the Outliner theme, you can skip the intro a go directly to the bold part of the post. And for the Dynamic theme, go to the Italics.)

First of all, I started using SketchUp some years ago. And one of the most amazing things I discovered was how easy and intuitive it was to work with. Within days I was making my first models and within weeks my first renders. And each update felt as a real upgrade. Not the same case for 2023.

In my personal opinion, I don’t like the new cursors. I understand that developers did this to merge the visual aspect of the different platforms (and don’t take me wrong, they look good). And in fact, it really doesn’t affect that much because I only use shortcuts for almost everything I do. But every now and then when I need to do something that I usually don’t do, when I look up it is a new world. I don’t even recognize the tools I use all the time!

OK! Yes, I can get used to it. But this takes me to a point. I have talked with lots of colleagues and we all think the same. We use Sketchup as our main tool (and not only a powerful one but in many cases 95% of our designs, workflow and presentations are made on Sketchup). I use Sketchup 8 to 10 hrs a day and in some cases if I’m rendering, 24-35 hrs straight. You start to subconsciously develop a workflow and start gaining speed (with hrs an days and years of doing the same thing over and over). And you start to develop speed and order and workarounds to “small errors” of the program hoping for them to be fixed on the next release.

But a new “small error” can affect considerably to the workflow.

And then the new release comes and… ok. They changed all the visuals. Mmmmm… seems like an important release AND… we enter to a new jungle.

I installed 2023 and uninstalled almost immediately at the beginning of the year. Mainly because I was using V-ray 5 perpetual license that was not supported on 23. And secondly, I was in the middle of a 600m2, 2 floors, really big project and didn’t want to fight in the middle of the project with all the new changes, and like many others, with all the new bugs and errors.

Finally, I bought the new license for V-ray 6. And decided to install 2023. And almost 5 minutes into it I was already about to uninstall again.

I have NOT tried enough the program to talk about all new features and changes. But one that almost drives me crazy was the OUTLINER behavior.

I have 2 files of this project. One per floor. Almost 300m2 each. With 5 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, 3 walk in closets, TV room, Family room, Guest room, Dining room, Living room, Kitchen, Mudroom… and all FULLY DECORATED.

So I must have more than 1000 groups and components per file (plus sub components and sub groups and groups of components…).

Outliner is my main GO TO tool on a project (Then scenes but that is topic of another post. And don’t get me started with guides… hehehe). It is not behaving like it used to in 2022. If you select a main group or component, it will show you that item in the outliner. But that’s it. If you double click on the components and sub components it will do nothing. Previously on Sketchup 2022, each double click would open the hierarchy tree and show you where were you on the map. Now it only changes color of the main component on the outliner (and in some cases you have to scroll to look for it). 3, 4, 5 levels down of double clicks on the main screen and now you have to go to the Outliner… scroll… open the selected component… scroll… open the subcomponent… scroll… open the group… scroll… open the… you get my idea.

That being said… this completely crashes de work flow. I try to have all my projects tidy and clean. Very clear. ALL components and groups have their names. But the double clicks on main screen to navigate on an object’s hierarchy AND the correlation of those to is crucial for big projects.

A broken workflow can be expensive. Really guys. This project took us 8 months. And now any little change is taking us 3 or 4 times to address. Just because we cant navigate properly on the file. I really hope this can be fixed on the next update. If not we are in trouble.

That said, other thing that I have been waiting and I want to talk about is Dynamic Components for iPad. All our furniture is designed with dynamic components. All drawers and doors and accessories are animated so we can show the client how their furniture will work. How many interior shelves a cabinet has. The interior design of a drawer. The removable trashcan. And instead of turning off a door to get from one room to the other on a Tour, we open the door. This has been a complete success for us to show a more interactive experience to the client. And the AR option for the iPad works AMAZING. But we have to take the computer with the iPad to the construction site to show them the AR AND the dynamic components because the lack of the little hand that activates them on iPad. Is this going to be a feature in the future?

Well… sorry for the long post, here’s a potato! (Don’t know if anyone has found a potato on Sketchup forums before…)

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I can tell you that Dynamic Components is an extension and, since that is not available on iPad due, in part, to what Apple allows regarding third party applications, they do not exist.

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You can configure Live Components on the iPad. Use them instead of Dynamic Components.

Sad. Could be a great adn valuable tool.

Will try that. Thanks!

Yeah. Too bad Apple won’t allow it. Maybe you could contact them and get them to change their mind.

Live Components are a good alternative, though.

Why won’t allow it? Because it is like an “add on” to the main app?

I don’t know. Ask Apple. They should know.

I guess I wouldn’t invest a whole lot of energy into it. Dynamic Components alo won’t work in SketchUp for Web and the extension isn’t really getting much in the way of development anymore. Live Components work in SketchUp for Web and are getting a lot of development attention.

Have to get into Live Components. I haven’t explored them yet. Thanks a lot for your input.


I started looking into Live Components but I think they are a completely separate thing from Dynamic Components.

As far as I’ve seen, Live Components are pre-programed modifiable objects from the warehouse where you can change things like color, dimensions and other attributes of that particular object.

With Dynamic Components I do my own programing of how I want things to work with my own model. Al our furniture is designed by us for our clients, custom made and with very specific instructions for our carpentry workshop.

I think this are TWO completely different things and not a solution to what I was talking about. How do I do program my own objects as a Live Component? Is it possible? So far that is all I have found. Any link to more news would be apreciated.

This is a WIP I’m doing right now. Is still missing interiors. But this is how we can show the client EXACTLY how their home is going to look and work. We try not to work with pre-made objects because one of our main goals to achieve is going from render to reality as accurate as possible.

You can see a render to reality of our studio here: @AldaraStudio

Yes they are completely different things.

You can also make your own live components.

Bottom line is you won’t be able to make or utilize Dynamic Components on iPad. You’ll have to use SketchUp for Desktop on a PC or Mac.

Ok. That was my point and that was what I wanted to take into the conversation. I need Dynamic components because as you can see, you can animate and program faster changes for the client. So far I have seen all the changes you can make to the object but haven’t seen you can animate things.

Do you have any link or advice to where to start for making my own live components?

So basicaly the solution: Take the laptop to the mettings.

Although, I still think it is a powerfull tool that could work amazingly with the iPad.

It would be cool to be able to use Dynamic Components on the iPad but as Aaron told you two weeks ago, this is primarily on Apple. Talk to Apple and convince them to allow third party applications to add extensions.

Look at the Live Components category of this forum for infomration on setting up your own Live Components.

Seems to me using a laptop is the path of least resistance.